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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pastoral Reflections

Today’s readings use farming images to teach about God’s powerful Word and about our receptiveness to that Word.

The First Reading is part of an oracle, a prophetic message of consolation intended for the people of Judah as they suffered in the Babylonian exile. God’s Word is gentle like the rain, the prophet says, and as effective as the watered earth, which gives life to seeds and produces food for the hungry.

In the Second Reading, Paul uses creation and birthing imagery to talk about the glory that awaits us in the life to come. His argument is difficult to follow in part because of some grammatical problems with the text, but also because he is referring to the Adam and Eve story from Genesis. Paul is saying that God’s cursing of the ground as a result of Adam’s sin (Genesis 3:17) is a reason for hope, not despair. Creation as we know it is like a woman in labor who is about to give birth, and the baptized are the first fruits of the harvest offered to God as a pledge that all of creation will one day be redeemed.

The Gospel reminds us that the fruitfulness of the earth and our own lives should not be taken for granted. Matthew describes Jesus as teaching a parable about planting seed. A parable is a true-to-life symbolic story that surprises its hearers with its message. Everyone in Jesus’ time would have known about the challenges of farming. But the surprising thing is that the good soil—those who hear God’s Word and act on it—produces a harvest so abundant that it would have been impossible in the ancient world and still today. At Home with the Word.

In His love and mine,

Fr. Ken

 

In the Spring of 1988, Bishop William D. Keeler formed a new parish to accommodate the rapid growth in Silver Spring Township and named Reverend James R. O’Brien as the founding pastor. That same year, Mother Katharine Drexel was beatified by Pope John Paul, II. Saint Katharine DrexelAt Bishop Keeler’s request, the Holy Father gave his permission to name the Parish in Silver Spring Township as the first parish in the world to be named in her honor. Eighteen years later, on October 1, 2000, Blessed Katharine Drexel was canonized and the church’s name changed to Saint Katharine Drexel.

The Saint Katharine Drexel Parish Family, guided by the Holy Spirit, commits itself to reaching out and sharing with all people the love and service modeled by our patroness, with the Eucharist as our source of strength. Through prayer and action, we will serve God, our Lord and Savior, and our community, exhibiting a special concern for the poor, oppressed and marginalized of our society, especially those among the African-American & Native-American peoples.

 

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